Thierry Henry overtook Michel Platini's record as France's leading international goal scorer by netting twice in the closing stages of the Euro 2008 qualifying win over Lithuania in midweek, even through his former Arsenal team-mate, Robert Pires, says Henry is playing at only 80 per cent capacity. The pair face each other in La Liga today when Henry's Barcelona, lying in second place in the table, go in search of a fifth straight league win, at Pires's Villarreal, who start the day in third.
Pires said: "Thierry won't score on Saturday for sure, though. He knows he isn't 100 per cent yet, but is at a good 80 per cent. With this he is still dangerous."
Barça's coach, Frank Rijkaard, has one eye on Tuesday's Champions League match in Glasgow against Rangers and is likely to rest Ronaldinho, who returned from international duty yesterday. Barça will also be without Samuel Eto'o, defenders Rafael Marquez and Gianluca Zambrotta, and midfielders Yaya Touré and Edmilson, all through injury.
Villarreal's Argentine playmaker Juan Riquelme will miss the game because of the ongoing dispute with his coach, Manuel Pellegrini. Pellegrini is also without his top scorer, Giuseppe Rossi, injured.
Real Madrid, two points clear after six wins and a draw from seven games, host fifth-placed Espanyol, who are looking for a fourth consecutive La Liga win. Espanyol had three players involved in Spain's 3-1 win over Denmark, including Raul Tamudo and Albert Reira, who both scored.
In Italy, the Serie A champions and league leaders, Internazionale, hope to welcome back Patrick Vieira at winless Reggina today after he missed the first seven games with a hamstring problem. Nicolas Burdisso is doubtful after being knocked out during Argentina's win in Venezuela on Tuesday.
Milan hope to build on their 5-1 win at Lazio a fortnight ago and register a first home win when Empoli visit tomorrow.Reuse content